Higher Degrees by Research

The Higher Degrees by Research program in Social Work has approximately 36 students enrolled in the PhD and MPhil programs.    Our students are both locally based in Victoria and are also from interstate.    Postgraduate students are obliged to attend the University for specific study periods, which are set out in the MRGO web site.   Postgraduate students are required to attend the two one day Social Work Postgraduate conferences held each year in February and June / July.   These conferences provide students with an opportunity for research training, to complete coursework activity modules, to undertake milestone presentations, to hear about research activity in the Department and to hear guest presentations about the research process.

The degrees provide health and welfare professionals with the opportunity to explore original ideas and research questions. Students will undertake independent research on a topic of interest and develop their critical, conceptual and analytical skills. They are required to complete to submit a major thesis for examination which will communicate the results of research carried out by the candidate under supervision. The thesis will demonstrate the candidate's ability to complete independent research of high quality. Specialist areas of research include casework, child abuse and protection, community health and services, corrections, ethnic welfare, family and children's courts, family intervention, family violence, policy development, poverty, residential care, women and social work, the welfare lobby, drug law reform, child abuse and the media, and aged care.

Higher Degree by Research Application

  1. Potential applicants are encouraged to contact the Higher Degrees by Research Degrees Co-ordinator to, advise Social Work of their interest, and to discuss their proposed research area.
  2. Potential applicants may also wish to speak to Social Work Academic Staff who undertake research in the applicant's area of interest. Applicants are encouraged to view staff research interests at this site:  https://www.monash.edu/medicine/spahc/socialwork/about/staff
  3. Potential applicants are advised to look first at the following web site: https://www.monash.edu/graduate-research instead
  4. Potential applicants are asked to provide a 1,000 to 1,500 word study proposal to accompany their application, in order to notify the Postgraduate Committee about their area of study, and to assist decisions about supervision arrangements.
  5. The postgraduate (research degree) application is completed online, please follow the instructions and provide all necessary documentation. See: https://www.monash.edu/graduate-research/future-students/apply
  6. Applications for Ph.D and MPhil are at https://www.monash.edu/phdschol/forms/doctoral

Application Forms

  1. Please complete the form as set out.
  2. Please provide a 1,000-1,500 word study summary attached to the application. The study summary that describes the intent of the study, and the proposed method.
  3. Please attach a current curriculum vitae to the application that indicates the applicant's level of social work experience/research exposure.
  4. Please ensure that you give clear details about how you will comply with the arrangements for study and how you will fill the attendance requirements. Check the requirements, as these will vary according to whether or not you are part-time or full-time, local or external.
  5. Please attach a letter from your employers (where applicable) to demonstrate how they will assist you to achieve your study arrangements.
  6. Ensure that certified copies of academic transcripts are included.
  7. If you have a research/publication record, give details where asked.
  8. Ensure your proposed supervisor has provided you with a letter of invitation.
  9. Please ensure your supervision arrangements are explained.
  10. Social work candidates who are seeking PhD candidature, and who do not have an honours degree, will need to apply for H! or H2A Equivalency.

Master of Philosophy

The Master of Philosophy is a 100 per cent research degree for which candidates are required to submit a major thesis for examination. The thesis is approximately 35,000 words and communicates the results of research carried out by the candidate under supervision. The thesis will demonstrate the candidate's ability to complete independent research of high quality. The program may be completed in two years full-time or four years part-time.

See: http://www.monash.edu/pubs/2018handbooks/courses/3337.html

Students who have completed the course will demonstrate a thorough understanding of relevant research techniques in their field through a review of the relevant literature. They will demonstrate their ability, under supervision, to apply relevant research techniques to their chosen field of study. Students will be able to present high-quality written work suitable for publication in appropriate scholarly journals. Students will be able to critically evaluate both their own and others' written work in their chosen field.

Full-time candidates must be able to devote the equivalent of a minimum of four days a week to the pursuit of their research project; all part-time candidates must devote at least two full days a week to their studies. For part-time students at least one of their study days must be a week day.

Progression to PhD

Students may apply to upgrade to doctoral candidature after 12 months candidature (full-time or equivalent), provided that satisfactory progress has been made and certain conditions are met.

Doctor of Philosophy

The Doctor of Philosophy is a 100 per cent research degree for which candidates are required to submit a major thesis for examination. The thesis communicates the results of research carried out by the candidate under supervision. The thesis demonstrates the candidate's ability to complete independent research of high quality. The degree may be completed in three years full-time or four years part-time. The maximum time allowed for part-time study is eight years.

The doctoral study must demonstrate a thorough understanding of relevant research techniques in the field of study through a review of the relevant literature and the application of relevant research techniques to their chosen field of study. Students must maintain regular contact with their supervisors. Students are expected to present aspects of their work at the Social Work bi-annual postgraduate conferences. They are encouraged to develop high-quality written work suitable for publication in appropriate scholarly journals.

All doctoral and MPhil candidates, including staff candidates, are permitted to submit a thesis including published works, in accordance with section 1.9 of the Graduate Research Thesis Examination Procedures. The thesis by publication is not a different degree; rather, it is a thesis format that includes papers that have been submitted, or accepted, for publication. They may have more than one author, in which case signatures from co-authors are required. The papers do not have to be rewritten for the thesis: they can be inserted in their published format. In the Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences, papers are required to have been published or accepted for publication.

The thesis must reflect a sustained and cohesive theme, and framing or substantial linking text is required in introducing the research and linking the chapters and papers. See below Departmental guidelines on the thesis including published works.

COURSE STRUCTURE

The traditional thesis is expected to be at least 80,000 words. The degree may be completed in three to three and a half years full-time or six years part-time, although this may be extended to eight years part-time. The structure of the thesis is set out in:

https://www.monash.edu/rlo/graduate-research-writing

ENQUIRIES

Enquiries should be directed to:

Professor Rosemary Sheehan

Rosemary.Sheehan@monash.edu

You can also contact:

Graduate research programs office
Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences

Tel: +61 3 9905 4313
Email: med-research.degrees@monash.edu

See: https://www.monash.edu/medicine/research/grad-research

Thesis by Publication (known as Thesis including published works)

All doctoral and MPhil candidates, including staff candidates, are permitted to submit a thesis including published works. The thesis including published worksis not a different degree; rather, it is a thesis format that includes papers that have been prepared, or accepted, for publication. They may have more than one author, in which case signatures from co-authors are required. The papers do not have to be rewritten for the thesis: they can be inserted in their published format. In the Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences, papers are required to have been published or accepted for publication.

The thesis must reflect a sustained and cohesive theme, and framing or substantial linking text is required in introducing the research and linking the chapter and papers.

Chapter 7 of the Doctoral Handbook sets out the conditions attached to thesis including published works.

See:https://www.monash.edu/graduate-research/faqs-and resources/content/chapter-seven/7-1

Candidature Conditions

Papers must have been researched and written during the course of candidature. The Doctoral Handbook section 7.1.3 states the requirements. See http://www.monash.edu.au/migr/research-degrees/handbook/chapter-seven/7-1.html

For staff candidates, at least 75% of the research in these papers must have been conducted during the period of employment at Monash University or during tenure. See Doctoral Handbook section 7.5 on PhD staff candidature for further information.

The Candidate's Contribution

The initiation, key ideas, development and writing up of each of the works within the thesis should be the primary responsibility of the candidate. Overall, the material presented for examination needs to equate to that which would otherwise be presented in the traditional thesis format.

Within the Department of Social Work, the thesis including published works requires a minimum of 4 papers, which are appropriate to the research discipline and equate to the research content of the 'traditional' narrative style thesis. These papers must represent a sustained theme of research.

The papers that form the body of the thesis are papers published or accepted for publication by a scholarly referred journal, or if book chapters have been through the same scholarly anonymised peer review process.

The Doctoral Handbook Chapter 7, Section 7.1, Preparation, presentation and submission of doctoral theses provides general information about presentation of a thesis.

All theses thesis including published works must include declarations which specify the extent and nature of your contribution to the publications. If you are the sole author, this still needs to be specified. There are two declarations that you must include which acknowledge the contribution made to the research work and/or authorship by you and other parties:

  • General declaration (part A): this is placed at the front of the thesis and replaces the standard general declaration. It lists the work/s written by you in collaboration with other authors and shows the publication status of those works. If you are the sole author, you only need refer to the publication status.
  • Specific declaration (part B): this is required for each work in the thesis that you wrote in collaboration with other authors. It is not required for sole-authored work. You and any co-authors who are students at Monash University also need to agree on your relative contributions in percentage terms. Each declaration should be placed at the start of the thesis chapter where the conjointly authored work appears.
  • Template declarations are available for download. You need to customise the highlighted statements.

Contacts

The Examinations section of MGRO handles queries about the thesis and specific enquires within the Department of Social Work can be dealt with by your supervisor or by the Social Work HDR Coordinator.